People have been asking about the "original" school address for this morning. Well, Big Guy didn't get too far with it, but this about all I had loaded into my hard drive as of last Monday.
Today I am going to speak to you about me. Well, not entirely about me; I will speak to you about you, too, but mostly I’m going to talk about me and how you can be like me. Because I have had a great deal of experience in school. In education. In learning. In teaching. In learning to teach.
Many years ago, as a young, multi-racial youth living on foreign soil, I had fears starting in my new elementary school. This may surprise you, but I was a goofy looking kid, with big ears and a big mouth that could just run, and run and run. But I had hope on that first day in Hawaii. And I had desire. Loads of desire. And I embraced that load and transformed it into something good, and positive. It was called the intent to achieve. Because sometimes intentions really are enough.
You know, after I got acclimated to school, and the school got acclimated to me, I had a great time. Sure there were challenges. The swirlies. The wet willies in my oversized ears. The nights spent huddled in my locker against my will. But I have found a way to channel those times of trial into something positive: our national agenda of apology for enhanced interrogation techniques against innocent terrorists.
And so I say to each of you who’s found yourself on the wrong end of a urinal cake, take heart. At some point down the road, you will find an opportunity to get back at every single one of those individuals who harmed you. It’s a great feeling.
Now let me speak to those students who perhaps aren’t going to achieve. Let me be clear with you: I know how you feel. You may not know this, but I wasn’t the greatest student in the world. I went to a nondescript college in California before transferring to Columbia in New York and then, using my multi-racial status and designation as a Muslim, which I no longer need to use, I was able to get into Harvard. But this is America, and the beauty of America is that no one can release any documents about you unless you want them released; so if you're a mediocre student, never fear. No one will know. Unless you’re involved in defending America or involved in a national security project, in which case, all bets are off.
And while none of you can be me. Ever. You can be like me.
My message, though, is this: don’t fear mediocrity. It can empower you, just as it empowered me. No one will know. And if you get the right ghostwriter, and make the right friends, and use the right technology tools to speak with a basso profundo and slight southern twang, you can seem a lot smarter than you really are. Again, embrace this. Make it work for you.
Now, I did learn a few tricks as a hall monitor, let me share them with you before I get to the real point of this speech ... health care reform and what we're doing to make American safe again from her citizens …